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Re: Mozilla and Trademarks

* Gervase Markham (gerv@mozilla.org) wrote:
> Alexander Sack wrote:
> >I suggest that we make a standard policy that works for all and not for 
> >debian only. Otherwise, I feel that there are problems with dfsg, since 
> >we cannot grant the same rights to our users, that you granted us. But, 
> >here I might be wrong and maybe others want to elaborate on this.
> We have to maintain the right of everyone to make arbitrary changes, 
> otherwise the software's not free. So we have to therefore say "beyond a 
> certain level of change, please remove our trademarks". The general 
> policy on this is the Community Edition policy. However, I am suggesting 
> that for Debian, we can go a bit further and perhaps allow official 
> Debian releases more flexibility in what they change, because we have a 
> level of confidence in the Debian process for producing quality software 
> which we don't have in Joe Q. Public's process.
> Therefore, if the Community Edition changes aren't enough for Debian 
> (and I can see that they might not be) then I can't see how we can avoid 
> some sort of special arrangements. But I don't think this is a problem.

We understand, I think, that you'd like Debian to use your name in
some capacity and that you're willing to make some sort of special
arrangement to make that happen. we appreciate that. But I think there
are a few problems with that scenario. First off, we would not be the
only ones in the same situation. Other distributions are going to have
the same requirements as us, ie security patches and minor integration
patches. You will certainly have to strike similar deals with Fedora
(Fedora has some pretty major GTK integration patches in their tree I

So I think we would like something more formal and less specific to
Debian in your trademark license rather than some gentleman's
agreement we hash out just for us. Our feeling is the Community
Edition clause in your trademark license is not adequate for us and I
doubt it will be adequate for other distros (again, Fedora is a
perfect example). Currently the Iceweasel clause would be the one
Debian and others would fall under.

Now, if you'd prefer we didn't use your trademarks, that's fine. It
would be unfortunate for both Mozilla and Debian, since more and more
Linux Firefox users will probably use their distro's version. If it
comes to that it would be great if the projects: 1) Suggested
alternative (good and reminiscent) names 2) Provide an easy way to
build versions that use them (Like the --enable-branding configure

> >> > Another IMHO more important point is, that we need (they want us) to
> >> > add a statement to the thunderbird copyright file like:
> >>
> >>This is just not true. I said that Debian _may_ wish to make their 
> >>users aware of the need to remove our trademarks if they modified the 
> >>package, and suggested some wording. I am well aware of the pitfalls 
> >>of mandating text to be placed here, there or everywhere.
> >
> >No, you said we _may_, but in parenthesis you stated "(and we would
> >request that they)".
> Indeed. _Request_. Not _require_.
> >>We would need to come to an arrangement about each package name (which 
> >>may revolve around a naming scheme). But there's only three or four of 
> >>them. And the statement about us "being a god for you" isn't true. 
> >>We'd need to find some way to come to an accommodation - we don't want 
> >>software hacked around to an arbitrary degree being labelled 
> >>"Thunderbird", but obviously you need to make changes and security 
> >>updates without delay or hassle.
> >
> >It's not only about security updates or minor integration changes. 
> >Thunderbird and Firefox distributed in debian are actually of higher 
> >quality than what you provide ;). For example the extension manager is 
> >completely broken for global install and a patch for this (the patch the 
> >debian fox and bird use) is just hanging around in bugzilla waiting for 
> >a comment from ben for ages. Without this patch a distribution would be 
> >nearly impossible for us.
> OK... so perhaps what we agree would include me giving some people a 
> kick in order to get them to review and check in the major patches 
> Debian adds. This would reduce the size of the difference, at least.
> But there's not necessarily a conflict here - in that if the patched 
> version has gone through the official Debian procedure and is therefore 
> of a certain level of quality, then that would probably be OK. The 
> larger issue arises when Joe Q. Public wants to take the Debian tarball, 
> recompile with super-duper gcc-pre-release -O6 optimisations ("Hey! it 
> doesn't crash for over five minutes at a time now!") or with his new UI 
> "improvement" patch which adds sixteen menu items and three toolbars, 
> and redistribute the result, trademarks and all. What can be done about 
> that sort of scenario?
> >My suggestion here would be to give your projects something like a 
> >codename (e.g. thunderbird codename freehawk) and explicitly grant the 
> >right to use those codenames for derived works of thunderbird in your 
> >trademark policy. The same would be true for mozilla, firefox and sunbird.
> I don't think we want to do that, because we want to come to an 
> agreement with as many distributors as possible to use the names Firefox 
> and Thunderbird :-)
> Gerv

Eric Dorland <eric.dorland@mail.mcgill.ca>
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